Marilyn Stafford: Sorbonne

Sorbonne online exhibition and journée d’etude

November 2020


In 2017, Julia curated the exhibition, ‘Photographic Memories – Lost Corners of Paris: The Children of Cité Lesage-Bullourde and Boulogne-Billancourt‘ at the invitation of the Alliance Française Pierre-Léon Gallery in Toronto with photographs by Marilyn Stafford.

The exhibition presented archival photographs, an introductory catalogue essay and an accompanying film relating to the work of internationally renowned photographer Marilyn Stafford (born 1925). The exhibition was informed by an investigation into Stafford’s photographic practice, a critical interpretation of works, and by developing new means to understand the ongoing social impact of Stafford’s photography.

In 2020, Julia curated a new exhibition and research colloquium at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Maison de la Recherche.

Organized jointly by Julia and Patrice Roland (Sorbonne), the symposium brought together, for the first time, Marilyn Stafford with Alain Dupont, one of the former children who grew up in the Cité Lesage, and the original researcher, Jean-Francois Thery. Presentations by Adrienne Chambon, University of Toronto and Nina Emett, Fotodocument further enriched the symposium.

The event highlighted new discoveries and connections and expanded the material available in the exhibition catalogue as well as resulting in a filmic online record of the event. The full webinar can be viewed here.

Because of the pandemic, the Sorbonne exhibition had to be shown online. Devised with Ian Hockaday, Julia brought together the voices of Marilyn Stafford and Alain Dupont, who grew up in the Cité Lesage-Bullourde in the early 1950s into an online exhibition that mirrors a return to the former Cité and fuses archival and contemporary photographs.

Sorbonne online exhibition

View here.

In a short video about Marilyn Stafford – made by Patrice Roland, Maison de la Recherche, Sorbonne Nouvelle – Julia explains the cultural and social significance of Marilyn Stafford’s early photographs: